For an application, roles used by any application must be defined in @DeclareRoles annotations in the code or role-name elements in the application deployment descriptor (application.xml). Those role names are scoped to the EJB XML deployment descriptors (ejb-jar.xml and sun-ejb-jar.xml files) and to the servlet XML deployment descriptors (web.xml and sun-web.xml files). For an individually deployed web or EJB module, you define roles using @DeclareRoles annotations or role-name elements in the Java EE deployment descriptor files web.xml or ejb-jar.xml.
To map roles to principals and groups, define matching security-role-mapping elements in the sun-application.xml, sun-ejb-jar.xml, or sun-web.xml file for each role-name used by the application. For more information, see Roles, Principals, and Principal to Role Mapping.